Is Blogging Part of Journalism?

The pros and cons regarding blogging being at par with or part of journalism is not new. In milis teknologia (googlegroups) Carlos Patriawan generate this issue once again in the midth of court appeal of Apple controversies in the US. Some friends, themselves are bloggers, also voiced the pros and cons. Enda Nasution agrees that blogging is part of journalism.

While Udhien still wants to wait the US court results, Basibanget sees the difference: journalism is a profession, while blogging is not; as Baskara thinks no more no less the same.
Interestingly, two most celebrated Iraqi bloggers, Salam Pax and Riverbend, all are of the opinion that blogism is not journalism. Riverbend argues that

Bloggers are not exactly journalists, which is a mistake many people make. They expect us to be dispassionate and unemotional about topics such as occupation and war, etc. That objective lack of emotion is impossible because a blog in itself stems from passion – the need to sit for hours at one’s computer, slouched over the keyboard, trying to communicate ideas, thoughts, fears and frustrations to the world.

The main point of Riverbend’s disagreement on this issue is that “journalism is dispassionate and unemotional form of reporting” while blogging or blogger is “impossible to do that.” Her point seems to be in accordance with the American Heritagae dictionaries defininion on journalism as follows (emphasis is mine):

-The collecting, writing, editing, and presenting of news or news articles in newspapers and magazines and in radio and television broadcasts.
-Material written for publication in a newspaper or magazine or for broadcast.
-The style of writing characteristic of material in newspapers and magazines, consisting of direct presentation of facts or occurrences with little attempt at analysis or interpretation.
-Newspapers and magazines.
-An academic course training students in journalism.
-Written material of current interest or wide popular appeal.

In the meanwhile, Wikipedia seems to regard blogging as part of journalism by not mentioning the word Riverbend objected to. So, from Wikipedia perspective, any good reporting, emotional or unemotional, in blog or conventional media, can be regarded as journalism and hence, one who practice it can be called as journalist and/or bloggist/blogger.

From the legal point of view, however, Wikipedia like everyone of us, is still waiting for the final ruling on Apple versus blogger issue. If the previous case (2005) is to be the judge precedent on current issue, the decision will be obvious:

…the blogs were not entitled to journalist protections with regards to preserving the anonymity of sources because they don’t qualify as a form of journalism.

In Indonesia, against President SBY, by engineering President’s picture attached with Indonesian singer Mayangsari was the first case involving a blogger with the police officers which end up in ‘peaceful solution.’ There’s no such case in terms of blogger vs corporate, etc. Well, not yet.

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